BEST IN WEST: KOLACHE (and KLOBASNEK) SHOWDOWN

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If you've ever made the trek from anywhere North to anywhere South in Texas you've probably passed through West, Texas. If you have, there's a pretty good chance you've pulled off the highway and grabbed a hot kolache or klobasnek. It's basically a road trip tradition. Depending on the direction you were heading, Czech Stop or Slovacek's may have managed to slow you down, but did you know there were other options no more than a stone's throw from the highway to help you get your kolache fix?

Let us take you on a kolache and klobasnek tour of West, Texas.

*It must be noted that while each of these establishments offers multiple varieties of each item we opted to test the classics.*

THE BASIC SAUSAGE ROLL

 Before we begin, let's take a look at what some might confuse with a kolache. This sausage roll is technically a klobasnek, but we'll forgive you. (We just learned this today). You can find these at any donut shop down the street. They're not bad, but they also aren't the best. We're looking for something more. 

Before we begin, let's take a look at what some might confuse with a kolache. This sausage roll is technically a klobasnek, but we'll forgive you. (We just learned this today). You can find these at any donut shop down the street. They're not bad, but they also aren't the best. We're looking for something more. 

 This good-sized klobasnek was stuffed full of ground sausage. It was wonderfully seasoned and the roll had a nice yeasty sweetness to it. I also picked up two jalapeno sausage rolls for the road and they were  delicious ! 

This good-sized klobasnek was stuffed full of ground sausage. It was wonderfully seasoned and the roll had a nice yeasty sweetness to it. I also picked up two jalapeno sausage rolls for the road and they were delicious

 We were in for a real treat with Village Bakery's kolache. The cream cheese is the hero in this confection. It was unlike any other in our taste test. Angel kisses must be on the list of ingredients. The pastry had the same sweetness as the sausage roll and that's a good thing. 

We were in for a real treat with Village Bakery's kolache. The cream cheese is the hero in this confection. It was unlike any other in our taste test. Angel kisses must be on the list of ingredients. The pastry had the same sweetness as the sausage roll and that's a good thing. 

 King-Sized portions seems to be the name of the game at Gerik's. This massive klobasnek was filled with perfectly spiced ground sausage and cheese. The only thing that could make this roll better is more meat! It's that good!

King-Sized portions seems to be the name of the game at Gerik's. This massive klobasnek was filled with perfectly spiced ground sausage and cheese. The only thing that could make this roll better is more meat! It's that good!

 Another HUGE pastry. A little more bread than cream cheese, but that's ok. We found this bread to be even better than Village Bakery's, but that comes at the cost of slightly inferior cream cheese. You can't beat angel kisses.  If you're into gargantuan baked goods (and who isn't) be sure to check out Gerik's cinnamon rolls. They've got wedding cake and PB&J versions if you're looking to get crazy and they all look to weigh about 3 pounds.

Another HUGE pastry. A little more bread than cream cheese, but that's ok. We found this bread to be even better than Village Bakery's, but that comes at the cost of slightly inferior cream cheese. You can't beat angel kisses.

If you're into gargantuan baked goods (and who isn't) be sure to check out Gerik's cinnamon rolls. They've got wedding cake and PB&J versions if you're looking to get crazy and they all look to weigh about 3 pounds.

 Ah, Czech Stop, my old road trip workhorse. I can't count how many or your kolaches and klobasneks I've devoured over the years.   The sausage link is terrific. There's that little  snap  as you bite into it followed by a little heat from the pepper. The roll is definitely smaller than our previous contestants, but that just means you can eat more. The bread is great on this almost bite-sized roll. 

Ah, Czech Stop, my old road trip workhorse. I can't count how many or your kolaches and klobasneks I've devoured over the years. 

The sausage link is terrific. There's that little snap as you bite into it followed by a little heat from the pepper. The roll is definitely smaller than our previous contestants, but that just means you can eat more. The bread is great on this almost bite-sized roll. 

 Czech Stop packs a punch with its cream cheese. It's sweet and tangy and there's a ton of it. There's a reason why so many pledge allegiance to this little bakery.   Be prepared to wait if you swing by Czech Stop. It's a popular place, but totally worth a little line time. Czech Stop also has a large variety of other assorted baked goods. Their breakfast sausage rolls are incredible!

Czech Stop packs a punch with its cream cheese. It's sweet and tangy and there's a ton of it. There's a reason why so many pledge allegiance to this little bakery. 

Be prepared to wait if you swing by Czech Stop. It's a popular place, but totally worth a little line time. Czech Stop also has a large variety of other assorted baked goods. Their breakfast sausage rolls are incredible!

 Slovacek's sausage roll was nicely proportioned, although the smallest of the four we tasted, and the sausage link had a nice heat to it, but the bread itself was underwhelming. Maybe we were just spoiled by our previous contestants.

Slovacek's sausage roll was nicely proportioned, although the smallest of the four we tasted, and the sausage link had a nice heat to it, but the bread itself was underwhelming. Maybe we were just spoiled by our previous contestants.

 Again, we were left wanting a little more from the bread. It was like a little tasteless raft carrying cream cheese to our mouths. Speaking of cream cheese, it was good, but not life-changing.   Much like Czech Stop, Slovacek's offers a lot more than just kolaches. Think of it like a miniature Buccee's. 

Again, we were left wanting a little more from the bread. It was like a little tasteless raft carrying cream cheese to our mouths. Speaking of cream cheese, it was good, but not life-changing. 

Much like Czech Stop, Slovacek's offers a lot more than just kolaches. Think of it like a miniature Buccee's. 

 

We headed out to West with every intention of crowning a Kolache King, but we see now that it's impossible. There are so many great options in West that you'd be doing yourself a disservice by only trying one. So, start with Slovacek's and work your way a little deeper into West. It only gets better from there. 

 

Taste Tested by Andy, Doug, and Chris. All photographs by Chris.

Posted on August 29, 2018 .